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What IS at The End of The Appalachian Trail?!

Katadin summit, hiking up katahdin, end of the appalachian trail, appalachian trail, highest mountain in maine, hiking couple, adventure couple, travel coupleJust before completing the impressive 2,168.1 miles that make up the Appalachian Trail, hikers are faced with one final ascent. A mountain, generally viewed as an obstacle, is transformed into a beacon of hope. Streep and strenuous, but even more so rewarding and victorious, at the end of the Appalachian Trail is THIS:

Katadin summit, hiking up katahdin, end of the appalachian trail, appalachian trail, highest mountain in maine, hiking couple, adventure couple, travel couple

Katadin summit, hiking up katahdin, end of the appalachian trail, appalachian trail, highest mountain in maine, hiking couple, adventure couple, travel coupleMount Katahdin, meaning “The Greatest Mountain,”  is the highest mountain in Maine sitting at 5,270 feet and it is one beast of a hike.

Katadin summit, hiking up katahdin, end of the appalachian trail, appalachian trail, highest mountain in maine, hiking couple, adventure couple, travel couple

Katadin summit, hiking up katahdin, end of the appalachian trail, appalachian trail, highest mountain in maine, hiking couple, adventure couple, travel couple, knife edge trail katahdinA few things to know before hiking up Katahdin:

1. You must reserve (and purchase) a day pass for parking if you hope to hike Katahdin on a weekend or on most days during the months of May- October.

2. Non-residents of Maine can only make this reservation 2 weeks or less prior to the hike date.

3. Reserved spots are held until 7:00am on the day of the reservation, after which any unfilled spots are filled on a first-come, first-serve basis. This means you will need to get an early start!

Katadin summit, hiking up katahdin, end of the appalachian trail, appalachian trail, highest mountain in maine, hiking couple, adventure couple, travel couple4. Check the weather and trail conditions. There were only 2 trailheads open when we went and these trails had opened for the season just the week before!

Katadin summit, hiking up katahdin, end of the appalachian trail, appalachian trail, highest mountain in maine, hiking couple, adventure couple, travel couple5. Bring lots of water (there’s nowhere to fill up once you’re 2 miles into the trail).

6. Give yourself 8-12 hours total. It took us just under 10 hours and we enjoyed an hour lunch at the summit. We started our trek at 7:45 am and recommend starting no later than 9am.

7. Bring bug spray! Between the black flies and mosquitos you’ll want to be drenched in it from head to toe. I caught Drew in mid-swat below:

Katadin summit, hiking up katahdin, end of the appalachian trail, appalachian trail, highest mountain in maine, hiking couple, adventure couple, travel couple, knife edge trail katahdin8. Don’t bring hiking poles. We ended up having to strap them on our bags (well Drew actually strapped both onto his pack) as they only got in the way of all the rock climbing and cliff scaling that was involved.

Katadin summit, hiking up katahdin, end of the appalachian trail, appalachian trail, highest mountain in maine, hiking couple, adventure couple, travel couple

Katadin summit, hiking up katahdin, end of the appalachian trail, appalachian trail, highest mountain in maine, hiking couple, adventure couple, travel coupleAll but 1 of the 9 trails leading to the summit are rated as strenuous or very strenuous, this is because there is no escaping the gigantic boulders that make up this granite fortress. Hunt Trail, the trail we took, was 5.2 miles one-way with 4,188 feet of elevation gain, that’s basically 1,000 feet per mile! The amount of stamina and courage needed to complete this route is second only to the infamous Knife Edge Trail, which was unfortunately closed when we went, but to be honest, Hunt Trail was pretty incredible in itself.

Katadin summit, hiking up katahdin, end of the appalachian trail, appalachian trail, highest mountain in maine, hiking couple, adventure couple, travel coupleYep, we had to climb all the way up THAT.Katadin summit, hiking up katahdin, end of the appalachian trail, appalachian trail, highest mountain in maine, hiking couple, adventure couple, travel coupleOnce we made it to the top and all the climbing had ceased, there was no place else we’d rather be.

Katadin summit, hiking up katahdin, end of the appalachian trail, appalachian trail, highest mountain in maine, hiking couple, adventure couple, travel couple, mountain yoga, natarajasana

Katadin summit, hiking up katahdin, end of the appalachian trail, appalachian trail, highest mountain in maine, hiking couple, adventure couple, travel couple

Katadin summit, hiking up katahdin, end of the appalachian trail, appalachian trail, highest mountain in maine, hiking couple, adventure couple, travel coupleWe always enjoy our summits. As we sat on top of Katahdin’s vibrantly green and endlessly craggy peak, we took the time to breathe and reflect on the sense of victory and gratitude that flooded our souls. We could only imagine how rewarding it would feel if we had hiked the entire AT! 

Katadin summit, hiking up katahdin, end of the appalachian trail, appalachian trail, highest mountain in maine, hiking couple, adventure couple, travel coupleThe hike down was difficult, but as always, the joy of having made it to the summit carried us home. That night we camped at the nearby Abol Bridge Campground, the best campground near Baxter SP, where we made strawberry pancakes, sipped on cider and gazed upon the mighty mountain that we had somehow managed to scale just a few short hours before.

Katadin summit, hiking up katahdin, end of the appalachian trail, appalachian trail, highest mountain in maine, hiking couple, adventure couple, travel couple, abol campground, abol bridge campground

Katadin summit, hiking up katahdin, end of the appalachian trail, appalachian trail, highest mountain in maine, hiking couple, adventure couple, travel couple, abol campground, abol bridge campground

Katadin summit, hiking up katahdin, end of the appalachian trail, appalachian trail, highest mountain in maine, hiking couple, adventure couple, travel couple, abol campground, abol bridge campground

 

 

10 Comments

  1. Reply

    Vidya Murugan

    June 17, 2015

    your writing takes me right there!

    • Reply

      mrandmrsadventure

      June 19, 2015

      That’s our goal 🙂 to describe and inspire.

  2. Reply

    Janet

    June 16, 2015

    Hello from Mount Desert Campground:)
    WOW! We are going to do this hike this fall. It looks really challenging but worth it. Enjoy your adventures. Love the stove and pancakes:)

    • Reply

      mrandmrsadventure

      June 16, 2015

      So worth it! It was so lovely meeting you, let us know how the hike is!! Enjoy your summer 🙂

  3. Reply

    Arlene Leilani (@QueenLeilani)

    June 16, 2015

    Awwwweeeee the photo of you two looking over the horizon is so beautiful. The strawberry pancakes though…yum! My weakness!

    • Reply

      mrandmrsadventure

      June 16, 2015

      We just made apple pancakes with honey and organic, chunky peanut butter on top… OMG. The key is slicing the apples super thin and mixing them in with the dough before pouring 🙂

  4. Reply

    Gail

    June 16, 2015

    You are making it near impossible for me to stay home a minute longer.

    • Reply

      mrandmrsadventure

      June 19, 2015

      haha! Get out there and get adventuring!

  5. Reply

    bethdaly748210367

    June 16, 2015

    Once again, your stories bring me right there! Bravo! Encore, Encore!!

    • Reply

      mrandmrsadventure

      June 16, 2015

      I wish they really could bring you right here!! xox

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